Wellness Becomes Functional Medicine for Consumers of 21st Century
Solutions from “Outside the Pharma Box"

March 2016

A new paradigm in consumer health care is growing in popularity. The pharmaceutical paradigm, which had been the dominant model in health care, is losing its monopoly of the market to new wellness motivations and behaviours. The pharma industry must innovate - adapt products and formulations – or lose both sales and the argument.

Health care is becoming de-medicalised as consumers are opting for non-medical (i.e., wellness therapies, products and devices) solutions. Wellness is a lifestyle choice for consumers and is emerging as a mega category in consumer health. Wellness solutions are becoming more popular because they are perceived as treating the underlying imbalances and / or providing relief without the adverse side effects usually associated with medication. Wellness buyers are concerned that pharmaceuticals often address the symptoms – but not the cause - of the condition.

Wellness is perceived as holistic, allowing people to “look, feel and function better”. It is competing for some of the largest - and most lucrative products - in pharmaceutical companies' portfolios. Consumers are opting for wellness to manage pain, dermatology and energy conditions, amongst others. These health conditions had, until now, been exclusively treated with medication (whether OTC or Rx pills and tablets) but now face the most competition.

The value of the wellness solutions market has been underestimated, its high growth rates and potential overlooked, because legacy metrics — that measure only sales of medicalised health care products — miss the many billions now spent on consumer focused wellness solutions or paid to wellness practitioners. Pharma and consumers goods companies can no longer ignore wellness which is shaping consumers' expectations and buying criteria but they must use it as another tool and platform to address consumer health challenges.

Diagonal Reports is continuously interviewing wellness channel experts in the largest consumer markets worldwide about solutions which are outperforming. Wellness is an area of particular expertise for Diagonal Reports which has been tracking the development of wellness since it first emerged. Since early 2000, we have been mapping consumers' adoptions in the wellness arena and researching how spas, in particular, created and rolled out this new culture of wellness.

Wellness solutions could take most of the organic market growth in consumer health care. Within a decade, spending on health care alternatives – that is, wellness solutions from outside the pharmaceutical box - could double what is now spent on medication. This situation has already occurred in the skin care market, where spending on functional skin care solutions now outstrips that of cosmetic skin care. A decade ago functional skin care was ignored because it came from 'outside the box' - much like functional medicine is dismissed today.

Contact Diagonal Reports (www.diagonalreports.com) for fuller information (scope, objectives, opportunities, conclusions) on Wellness Solutions Consumer and Market research project.